Transition Wilmslow Goes Foraging!

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James Wood from Totally Wild Foraging took us on a Foraging walk in The Carrs on 21st May. We tasted grasses, yarrow, daisies, hogweed seeds and stems, knotweed and hawthorn flower, and talked about rose bay willow herb asparagus. We learned what to do with elderflowers and elderberries when they are available, and ended up with a fantastic picnic of nettle soup which even the youngest children really enjoyed! Who knew what delicious treats there are hidden in The Carrs! James’s Cookbook, for those who are interested, (The Foragers Cookbook) is available on Amazon, and his blog is a great source of seasonal tips.

Join us with James on a Mushroom Day on November 4th: details will be on the website in due course.

 

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More Fruit Trees Planted

Transition Wilmslow had a tree planting session on Saturday 4 February 2017.  We were at ‘The Temp’ orchard at Gravel Lane, Wilmslow to replace three damaged apple trees.  Chris talked us through the whole process; how deep to dig the holes; where to place the support stakes, how high to build up the surrounding soil.

It was also a good opportunity to discuss the position of the additional raised beds that will soon be built in between the trees.

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Pruning Workshop

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We were pleased to have 18 ‘budding’ tree pruners at our workshop on Saturday 21 January 2017 at the Transition Wilmslow Orchard in Meriton Park Handforth.  Thanks to hands-on instruction from Gavin and Chris, attenders gained confidence to try the skill for themselves.  Result? All the apple trees were pruned sucessfully (the plum trees must be left until later in the spring).  Thanks to all who turned up.

If you missed this session and would like to have an opportunity to practice, Mobberley Community Orchard Group invite you to join a work party at Fieldside Close, Mobberley on Saturday 4 February 2017 from 8am til noon.  More information from Nick Eadie 01565 872306

How to Prune Fruit Trees

A great opportunity to learn more about pruning fruit trees – and it’s entirely free!

Come along to the orchard in Meriton Park, Handforth on Saturday, 21st Jan, 2017 from 10-11am for some advice and ‘hands-on’ practice organised by Transition Wilmslow.

Access from the gate behind Handforth Paddock and walk to the far end of the Park to meet up. Secateurs optional. Sensible footwear and warm clothing recommended.

The Inaugural Transition Wilmslow Lecture

The Inaugural Transition Wilmslow Lecture, 10th October 2016

We had a full house for our very first Transition Wilmslow Lecture!

We thought an Annual Lecture  might be a way of appealing to a wider audience, demonstrating that Transition towns are not just about “green” issues but about sustainable communities in general. The Transition Network has set up a website “Reconomy”  http://www.reconomy.org talking about different ways of thinking about the economy, and of course a number of Transition Towns (Lewes, Totnes, Brixton, Bristol, and even…at one point in history..Ambridge!) have their own currency. We invited Derek Whyte, Deputy CEO of Preston City Council, to talk about the work they have done with CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies) in Manchester, and a European Consortium, to look at how they procure goods and services, and ways in which they can procure more locally. It was good to hear they have significantly increased their local procurement, with benefits for local businesses and jobs.

We were delighted to have an expert discussion panel, with Dominic Oakshott from CEC, Richard Jones who was Director of Social Services for Lancashire and now undertakes consultancy work in social care and the charitable sector, and Catherine Mackenzie, Chair of Wilmslow Business Group. Dominic told us that CEC have been working to get more local procurement, and are up to around 25%; Catherine pointed out the challenges for small businesses in negotiating procurement challenges (large companies may have groups of lawyers negotiating these which makes it difficult for small enterprises) and Richard pointed out the real problems in local authority funding at present which make any economic model difficult. There was a lively discussion with the audience  which, as always, raised more questions than it answered, but we agreed that there is a tension between local procurement and having processes in place to ensure fair tendering.  There were lots of positive comments from the audience so we’d like to organise another lecture for next year: any suggestions for speakers gratefully received!

 

Foraging in Wilmslow

Foraging Day with James Wood: Saturday 8th October 2016

A group of around 25 people joined James Wood, professional forager: http://www.totallywilduk.co.uk/  in the Carrs on Saturday.

James introduced us to all the things you can do with nettles (nettle tea, using nettles like spinach and even making nettle string: impressive!), mugwort as a herb or tea and boiling down meadowsweet to make a syrup. We learned how you extract sap from silver birch (same technique as maple syrup!) to make a lovely sweet syrup, and tasted the edible flowers of  Himalayan Balsam. We saw a fungus on a birch branch (polypore) and had a look at some mushrooms. It was great to meet so many new people and we all agreed we would organise a full mushrooming day for next year! If you are interested in foraging and cooking wild food do look at James’s website, and look out for our mushroom day next year

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Dawn on Lindow Moss

Dawn Walk 30 July 2016

All who rose early on Saturday morning to experience dawn breaking on the Moss were not disappointed!  We started out at 4.30am in darkness and made our way around Black Lake, across Lindow Common, Newgate Lane and onto the Moss in time to experience an atmospheric sunrise with mists hanging low over the peat bog.

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Along the way we stopped to hear readings about the landscape now and in the past.  One of the guests on the walk was Rick Turner, a leading figure with the British Museum on the exhumation, examination and preservation of the body of Lindow Man.  Rick gave a reading that he had been inspired to compose – a diary entry as if it had been written in 1st Century AD by this bog man in his last hours leading up to being sacrificed at first light.   This focused our thoughts as a bouquet of flowers from the bog was laid on the water in commemoration of Lindow Man.

Transition Wilmslow has another Moss walk planned for 17 September 2016  – at the more reasonable hour of 10am!  See our Diary Page for this and other events.